Manic Monday: Parental discretion advised during blogging
I have been blogging for over 10 years. A detail only a very special group of people have been witness to or were a part of. The circle of trust, if you will. Within that circle I was free to write about anything and everything – a freedom provided by the sanctity of anonymity. Something which no longer exists.
Allow me to take you back to 1997. When my daughter was born, I knew I no longer wanted to work at the level I had thrived on for so long. The constant traveling, oscillating between one trade show and hotel room to the next airport was a lifestyle I managed to happily maintain throughout pregnancy. But once this beautiful child was in my arms, I knew my days of working into the night, hosting/attending events and socializing until the next morning were behind me. It was time to take a risk, leave the workplace and start freelancing.
Fast forward to the turn of the century - AKA Y2K. In just a short couple of years I had left Silicon Valley, moved to Nevada with my husband & daughter, then returned to California – without the husband. (What can I say - I’m kind of a loner.) During that time I worked as a typesetter, but was also successfully freelancing as a graphic artist and event planner. Upon my return to California as a single mother, I continued to run my own business, while simultaneously returning to the workplace.
It was while designing a website I discovered blogging. I found there were others out there just like me – living multiple lives all at once, hardly sleeping, creative writers eager to chronicle the sometimes questionable details of their animated lives. I dove in wholeheartedly. I gave myself full carte blanche and wrote with complete abandon. I wrote about controversial topics, didn’t shy away from politics, and was consistently honest. I often ridiculed what my life had become; the absurd complexities of being a broke single mom struggling to create an enlightening legacy for an extraordinary child – with a sidebar of tales & memes related to traveling, parties, celebrity encounters, dancing, dating and breaking hearts. I shared my experiences and thoughts with words and complete immunity. Within our circle, this creative freedom of expression was nothing short of entertaining. But as with all great things, this came to an end. The internet grew up. Our kids grew up. With this newfound maturity and awareness of our social identities we had to edit ourselves. There was no fun in that. Slowly people dropped from the circle and we all relied on Jon Stewart carry the torch.
Before going public with this version of my blog, I spent hours removing old posts and changing their status from “published” to “draft”. Some I was able to salvage with a simple edit or snip here and there. Some I re-posted without hesitation. Some are completely sealed away in a vault to protect the innocent. I am OK with archiving the past and remaining a mystery to those outside the original circle.
Being online requires a degree of responsibility. I live with someone who is extremely private. My own career path has taken me to amazing places, and that is strictly because of my discretion and trustworthiness. Plus, my daughter is probably reading this right now.
Before you press the "publish" button - remind yourself of who your audience is. Even in the world of social media, some things are better left unsaid.